NJ bars circuses, carnivals from using wild, exotic animals

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law a bill to bar circuses, carnivals and fairs from using wild and exotic animals such as elephants and tigers.

The measure signed Friday makes it illegal to use such animals in traveling acts such as carnivals, circuses, fairs, parades and petting zoos.

Murphy said such animals "belong in their natural habitats or in wildlife sanctuaries, not in performances where their safety and the safety of others is at risk."

State lawmakers approved the bill by a wide margin last month.

In 2016, officials in Bergen and Passaic counties barred shows with such animals on county property.

Last year, Illinois and New York banned use of elephants in traveling acts. Hawaii is considering banning import of "dangerous, wild animals" for performances, carnivals or circuses.